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Last Updated Monday February 19, 2018


Books to Read

Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Weebcentral Library. 'Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer) “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.' Kindle. Currently-Reading 2018-02-12.

The Beak Of The Finch, Jonathan Weiner, LA Public Library. One of the difficulties in the study of the Theory of Evolution is to find clear evidence of natural selection at work, and to find evidence of the process of the formation of new species. Darwin postulated long periods of time, many thousands of years, which severely handicaps those who employ the modern scientific approach: to look back so long a time is to find only trace evidence, much being either destroyed or simply unrecorded, so to speak. Peter and Rosemary Grant, in their recent studies of the finches of the Galapagos Islands, watched the entire finch population closely for over twenty years, and found measurable evidence of natural selection operating in the finch population, and the populations of other organisms in their ecosystem. The author helps to show that natural selection is demonstrably operating on the scale of seasons, and that it is ubiquitous, no more clearly relevant than in the study of resistance to human biological control efforts for pests and infectious diseases. Kindle. Read 2018-02-19. Recommended by my friend David Wilson.

Introducing Epigenetics: A Graphic Guide, Cath Ennis, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-09-10.

The Epigenetics Revolution, Nessa Carey, Multnomah County Library. 'Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity.' Kindle. Partially-Read 2016-12-01.

Darwin On Trial, Phillip E. Johnson, LA Public Library. 'Dissecting the writings of Gould, Futuyama, Darwin, and Dawkins with a trenchant sword, law professor Johnson uses an attorney's reasoning to scrutinize the scientists' logic in defining the theory of evolution. Contending that science has distorted research rules to exclude Divine Creation in explaining the diversity of life, Johnson challenges the tenets of natural selection and the evolutionary evidence from fossils and genetic and molecular sources. In the closing chapters, he deals with Darwinism in education and in religion, stating that the evolutionary theory is protected for its 'indispensable ideological role in the war against fundamentalism.' While the book presents a skewed view of the scientific process, occasionally losing all pretense of objectivity, it may be of value to lay readers seeking a creationist perspective on evolution.' Kindle. Read 1992-10-10.

The Soul Of An Octopus, Montgomery Sy, LA Public Library. ''In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus--a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature--and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. '' Kindle. Currently-Reading 2018-02-17. Recommended by my friend David Wilson.

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline, Multnomah County Library. 'At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.   For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perf' Kindle. To-Read

The Stranger, Albert Camus, Weebcentral Library. 'Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus's first novel, The Stranger (L'etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed 'the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.' Now, in an illuminating new American translation, extraordinary for its exactitude and clarity, the original intent of The Stranger is made more immediate. This haunting novel has been given a new life for generations to come.' Kindle. Read 1969-05-14.

The Meursault investigation, Kamel Daoud, Weebcentral Library. ''This response to Camus's The Stranger is at once a love story and a political manifesto about post-colonial Algeria, Islam, and the irrelevance of Arab lives. He was the brother of 'the Arab' killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus's classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling's memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name--Musa--and describes the events that led to Musa's casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach. Harun is an old man tormented by frustration. In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die. The Stranger is of course central to Daoud's novel, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Mersault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.'--' Kindle. To-Read

Battle Cry Of Freedom, James M. McPherson, LA Public Library. 'Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory. The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This 'new birth of freedom,' as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict. This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing 'second American Revolution' we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.' Kindle. To-Read Recommended by Ta Nahesi Coates

The Other Solzhenitsyn, Daniel J. Mahoney, Weebcentral Library. A Solzhenitsyn scholar's making a case for the misunderstood author, who has been treated with relative contempt by Western intellectuals after first embracing him as an anti-Communist when his first works, such as One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich were published in the early 1960's. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-11-28. A gift from my wife Cindy

The Russian Question At The End Of The Twentieth Century, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. Solzhenitsyn's political point of view has been skewed in the West, many making him out to be an Slavophile and hard-core Russian Nationalist. Solzhenitsyn's Russian Question essay shows that his political understanding centered on his experience in the Soviet Union and his desire to see post-Soviet Russia to develop a political system that was better for its people. He was not a Slavophile. He was a Russian nationalist, but this work makes clear that his view of nationalism was a limited and healthy one. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-11-26.

The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. ''This reader, compiled by the distinguished Solzhenitsyn scholars Edward E. Ericson, Jr., and Daniel J. Mahoney with the cooperation of the Solzhenitsyn family, provides in one volume a rich and representative selection of Solzhenitsyn's voluminous works. Reproduced in their entirety are early poems, early and late short stories, early and late 'miniatures' (or prose poems), and many of Solzhenitsyn's famous - and not-so-famous - essays and speeches. The volume also includes excerpts from Solzhenitsyn's great novels, memoirs, books of political analysis and historical scholarship, and the literary and historical masterpieces The Gulag Archipelago and The Red Wheel. More than one-quarter of the material has never before appeared in English (the author's sons prepared many of the new translations themselves).'--BOOK JACKET.' Hardcover. Partially-Read 2016-01-16.

From Under The Rubble, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. Solzhenitsyn edited a set of essays on the state of the Soviet Union in 1975, after he was involuntarily exiled to the West. He authored several essays himself. These essays are still relevant to understanding the disconnect between many Western intellectuals and Solzhenitsyn. Hardcover. To-Read

The Genesis Of Science, James Hannam, Weebcentral Library. 'Maybe the Dark Ages Weren’t So Dark Afterall…Here are some facts you probably didn’t learn in school: People in the Middle Ages did not think the world was flat—in fact, medieval scholars could prove it wasn’tThe Inquisition never executed anyone because of their scientific ideas or discoveries (actually, the Church was the chief sponsor of scientific research and several popes were celebrated for their knowledge of the subject)It was medieval scientific discoveries, methods, and principles that made possible western civilization’s “Scientific Revolution”If you were taught that the Middle Ages were a time of intellectual stagnation, superstition, and ignorance, you were taught a myth that has been utterly refuted by modern scholarship.As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the “barbaric” Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist.The Middle Ages were a time of one intellectual triumph after another. As Dr. Hannam writes, “The people of medieval Europe invented spectacles, the mechanical clock, the windmill, and the blast furnace by themselves. Lenses and cameras, almost all kinds of machinery, and the industrial revolution itself all owe their origins to the forgotten inventors of the Middle Ages.”In The Genesis of Science you will discoverWhy the scientific accomplishments of the Middle Ages far surpassed those of the classical worldHow medieval craftsmen and scientists not only made discoveries of their own, but seized upon Eastern inventions—printing, gunpowder, and the compass—and improved them beyond the dreams of their originatorsHow Galileo’s notorious trial before the Inquisition was about politics, not scienceWhy the theology of the Catholic Church, far from being an impediment, led directly to the d' Kindle. To-Read

Assembling California, John McPhee, LA Public Library. 'At various times in a span of fifteen years, John McPhee made geological field surveys in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these trips is Assembling California, a cross-section in human and geologic time, from Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada through the golden foothills of the Mother Lode and across the Great Central Valley to the wine country of the Coast Ranges, the rock of San Francisco, and the San Andreas family of faults. The two disparate time scales occasionally intersect--in the gold disruptions of the nineteenth century no less than in the earthquakes of the twentieth--and always with relevance to a newly understood geologic history in which half a dozen large and separate pieces of country are seen to have drifted in from far and near to coalesce as California. McPhee and Moores also journeyed to remote mountains of Arizona and to Cyprus and northern Greece, where rock of the deep-ocean floor has been transported into continental settings, as it has in California. Global in scope and a delight to read, 'Assembling California' is a sweeping narrative of maps in motion, of evolving and dissolving lands. John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including 'Annals of the Former World,' for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at 'The New Yorker' since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's 'Encounters with the Archdruid' and 'The Curve of Binding Energy' were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. At various times in a span of fifteen years, John McPhee made geological field trips in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these trips is 'Assembling California,' a cross-section in human and geologic time, from Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada through the golden foothills of the Mother Lode and across the Great Central Valley to the wi' Kindle. To-Read

Sorrow Of War, The: A Novel Of North Vietnam, Bao Ninh, LA Public Library. 'A North Vietnamese man, Kien, narrates his memories of his youth, the pains of adolescence, his experience of the war, and his attempts, as a struggling writer in postwar Hanoi, to cope with the horrors of war and his own survival. 17,500 first printing.' Kindle. To-Read Learned of Bao Ninh from Ken Burn's Vietnam series

Vietnam, Stanley Karnow, Clackamas County Library. 'A narrative that 'clarifies, analyses and demystifies the tragic ordeal of the Vietnam war'' Hardcover. To-Read

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick, LA Public Library. ''The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world.'--John BrunnerTHE INSPIRATION FOR BLADERUNNER. . . Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in. Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.'[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from.'--Paul Williams Rolling Stone' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad, Weebcentral Library. 'A young Englishman branded as a coward seeks personal redemption for an act of selfishness' Kindle. To-Read

Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, Frank Close, Multnomah County Library. 'In Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, best-selling author Frank Close provides a compelling and lively introduction to the fundamental particles that make up the universe. The book begins with a guide to what matter is made up of and how it evolved, and goes on to describe the fascinating and cutting-edge techniques used to study it. The author discusses particles such as quarks, electrons, and the neutrino, and exotic matter and antimatter. He also investigates the forces of nature, accelerators and detectors, and the intriguing future of particle physics. This book is essential reading for general readers interested in popular science, students of physics, and scientists at all levels.' Hardcover. To-Read

A Short History Of The United States, Robert V. Remini, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A gift from my Jon and Amanda

The United States Constitution: What It Says, What It Means: A Hip Pocket Guide, JusticeLearning Org, Weebcentral Library. 'Affordable, readable, and indispensable,The United States Constitution: What it Says, What it Means allows you to put the most important document in American history in your back pocket. In conjunction with Justice Learning and The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and with an introduction written by Caroline Kennedy and an afterword written by David Eisenhower, this pocket guide appeals to the broadest possible audience. Each Article and each Amendment is followed by a clear and concise explanation, in plain English, that is suitable for both middle and high school students. On December 8, 2004 President Bush officially signed Constitution Day into law. The law mandates that each year, on September 17th, schools and colleges that receive federal money are required to teach the Constitution. The new law was championed in Congress by Sen. Robert Byrd who famously carries around a copy of the document in his pocket. Sen. Byrd became increasingly alarmed at the lack of civics education-specifically relating to the Constitution-in our public schools and he wanted to take action. Lightweight, easy to use and easy for everyone to understand The United States Constitution: What it Says, What it Means is an excellent way for students and citizens of all ages to read and completely comprehend the building block of American democracy. Justice Learning (, is a comprehensive on-line resource that offers wide-ranging non-partisan materials relating to civics education.' Paperback. To-Read

Camel Xiangzi, Lao She, Shi Xiaojing, Kwok-Kan Tam, Amazon Wish List. Hardcover. To-Read Recommended by Britt Towery.

Asimov On Numbers, Isaac Asimov, Amazon Wish List. Paperback. To-Read

Asimov's Chronology Of Science And Discovery, Isaac Asimov, Amazon Wish List. Kindle. To-Read

The Serpent Of Venice, Christopher Moore, LA Public Library. 'Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favourite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool Pocket. This trio of cunning plotters – the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer Iago – have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening with a rare Amontillado sherry and a fetching young noblewoman. Their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged: the girl is nowhere in sight. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . . and the story is only beginning. Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire, a dramedy mash-up rich with delights, including (but not limited to): foul plots, counterplots, true love, jealousy, murder, betrayal, revenge, codpieces, three mysterious locked boxes, a boatload of gold, a pound of flesh, occasional debauchery, and water (lots of water). Not to mention a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock, Iago; Othello; a bunch of other guys whose names end in “o”; a trio of comely wenches – Desdemona, Jessica, Portia; the brilliant Fool; his large sidekick, Drool; Jeff the pet monkey; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (yes, there’s always a bloody ghost). Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, THE SERPENT OF VENICE pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can. (-book jacket)' Hardcover. To-Read Recommended by my brother Craig and Bob Burns

The Risk Pool, Richard Russo, LA Public Library. 'A wonderfully funn and perceptive novel in the traditions of Thornton Wilder and Anne Tyler,The Risk Poolis set in Mohawk, New York, where Ned Hall is doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his estranged parents can properly be called adult. His father, Sam, cultivates bad habits so assiduously that he is stuck at the bottom of his auto insurance risk pool. His mother, Jenny, is slowly going crazy from resentment at a husband who refuses either to stay or to stay away. As Ned veers between allegiances to these grossly inadequate role models, Richard Russo gives us a book that overflows with outsized characters and outlandish predicaments and whose vision of family is at once irreverent and unexpectedly moving.' Kindle. To-Read A Recommendation from Sam Wilson-Moses.

The Youngest Science, Thomas Lewis, Amazon Wish List. Kindle. To-Read

The Brothers K, David James Duncan, LA Public Library. 'This touching, uplifting novel spans decades of loyalty, anger, regret, and love in the lives of the Chance family. A father whose dreams of glory on a baseball field are shattered by a mill accident. A mother who clings obsessively to religion as a ward against the darkest hour of her past. Four brothers who come of age during the seismic upheavals of the sixties and who each choose their own way to deal with what the world has become.' Kindle. To-Read A Recommendation from my friend David Wilson.

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, Adam Hochschild, Multnomah County Library. Kindle. To-Read Recommended by Bonny Tennant.

Freeman, Leonard Pitts, Clackamas County Library. '''At the end of the Civil War, an escaped slave first returns to his old plantation and then walks across the ravaged South in search of his lost wife'--Provided by the publisher'--' Hardcover. To-Read

Truth: Philosophy in Transit, John D. Caputo, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

Those who have borne the battle, Wright James Edward, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Scottie.

The autistic brain, Temple Grandin, Weebcentral Library. ''A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate Temple Grandin is a star, a Time Magazine top 100 Hero and an inspiration to millions worldwide. Since she started writing and speaking about autism, the number of people diagnosed with it has skyrocketed--but so has the research that is transforming our understanding of the autistic brain. Now she brings her singular perspective to a thrilling journey through the autism revolution. Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, she introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scans from numerous studies. We meet the scientists and self-advocates who are introducing innovative theories of what causes, how we diagnose, and how best to treat autism. She highlights long-ignored sensory problems and the treatments that might help them, and warns of the dangers of politics defining the diagnosis of autism spectrum. Most exciting, in the science that has begun to reveal the long-overlooked strengths conferred by autism, she finds a route to more effective mainstreaming and a way to unleash the unique advantages of autistic people. From the 'aspies' in Silicon Valley to the five-year-old without language, Grandin understands the true meaning of the word spectrum. The Autistic Brain is essential reading from the most respected and beloved voices in the field'--' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my son Jon, on the occasion of Father's Day.

It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis, Project Gutenberg. 'It Can't Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America. Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler's aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press. ' Kindle. To-Read

Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

Nigger Of The Narcissus, Joseph Conrad, Weebcentral Library. 'The Nigger Of The 'Narcissus', Published In 1897, Is Widely Regarded As The Finest And The Strongest Picture Of The Sea And Sea Life That The English Language Possesses. Framed Around A Sea Voyage From Bombay To London, The Action Concentrates On The Human Community Of The Ship, The Narcissus. The Tensions Within The Small Number Of Crew Are As Perilous As The Weather Itself, And Are Created By Two Different Generations Of Seamen. Captain Alistoun And The Veteran Singleton Have The Reticence Of Men Primarily Concerned With Their Duties As Seamen. In Contrast, The Detachment From The Working Community Of The Younger Donkin, A Compulsive Troublemaker, And James Wait, The 'Nigger' Of The Title, Comes To Represent A Powerful, If Less Practical, Set Of Interests. During A Ferocious Gale Wait Has To Be Rescued From The Sickbed; And In The Ensuing Calm Donkin Tries Unsuccessfully To Incite The Crew To Mutiny. Finally, As Predicted By Singleton, 'The Oldest Able Seamen In The Ship', Wait Dies, The Wind Rises, And The Narcissus Is Able To Dock In London. The Novel Is Conrad'S First Major Exploration Of The Psychology Of Service Of Seamen.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Greg, for Christmas 2017.

Asimov's Chronology Of The World, Isaac Asimov, Amazon Wish List. Paperback. To-Read

How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, Chad Orzel, Clackamas County Library. 'When physics professor Chad Orzel went to the pound to adopt a dog, he never imagined Emmy. She wasn't just a friendly mutt who needed a home. Soon she was trying to use the strange ideas of quantum mechanics for the really important things in her life: chasing critters, getting treats, and going for walks. She peppered Chad with questions: Could she use quantum tunneling to get through the neighbor's fence and chase bunnies? What about quantum teleportation to catch squirrels before they climb out of reach? Where are all the universes in which Chad drops steak on the floor?With great humor and clarity, Chad Orzel explains to Emmy, and to human readers, just what quantum mechanics is and how it worksand why, although you can't use it to catch squirrels or eat steak, it's still bizarre, amazing, and important to every dog and human.' Paperback. To-Read

Walker's Appeal, Henry Highland Garnet, David Walker, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker, Clackamas County Library. 'One of the most quotable of twentieth-century authors, Dorothy Parker has attained a wide-ranging and enthusiastic following. This revised and enlarged edition, with an introduction by Brendan Gill, comprises the original 1944 Portable, as selected and arranged by Dorothy Parker herself and including all her most celebrated poems and stories, along with a selection of her later stories, play reviews, articles, book reviews from Esquire, and the complete Constant Reader, her collected New Yorker book reviews.ldquo;To say that Mrs. Parker writes well is as fatuous, I am afraid, as proclaiming that Cellini was clever with his hands. ... Mrs. Parker has an eye for people, an ear for language, and a feeling for the lithe things of life that are so immense a part of the process of living.rdquo; - Ogden Nashldquo;She has put into what she has written a voice, a state of mind, an era, a few moments of human experience that nobody else has conveyed.rdquo; - Edmund Wilson' Hardcover. To-Read

The Future Is History, Gessen Masha, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Greg, Christmas 2017.

The Meaning of Human Existence, Edward O. Wilson, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

November 1916: The Red Wheel / Knot II, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Weebcentral Library. 'The month of November 1916 in Russia was outwardly unmarked by seismic events, but beneath the surface, society seethed fiercely. In Petrograd, luxury-store windows are still brightly lit; the Duma debates the monarchy, the course of war, and clashing paths to reform; the workers in the miserable munitions factories veer increasingly toward sedition. At the front all is stalemate except for sudden death's capricious visits, while in the countryside sullen anxiety among hard-pressed farmers is rapidly replacing patriotism. In Zurich, Lenin, with the smallest of all revolutionary groups, plots his sinister logistical miracle. With masterly and moving empathy, through the eyes of both historical and fictional protagonists, Solzhenitsyn unforgettably transports us to that time and place--the last of pre-Soviet Russia.' Paperback. To-Read

Egypt, Greece, And Rome, Charles Freeman, Multnomah County Library. 'This is a comprehensive, one-volume introduction to the three major civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world: Eygpt, Greece, and Rome. It covers over 4000 years of ancient history - from the earliest Egyptian civilizations to the fall of Rome and rise of the Byzantine Empire. Starting with the emergence of the earliest Eygptian civilization around 3500 BC, the book goes on to span over four millennia - to beyond the fall of the Roman Empire in the west in AD 600 and the rise of the Byzantine Empire in the east. It includes a chapter on the civilization of the Ancient Near East, as well as less well-known cultures such as the Etruscans, Celts, Parthians, and Phoenicians/Carthaginians. The book covers every aspect of the life and times of these peoples - from politics, art, literature, and culture in general to the social, economic, and political background. It explores the many deep links and influences operating between cultures - revealing a picture of how and why Mediterranean culture developed as a whole.' Hardcover. To-Read

The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy, Anthony Gottlieb, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read Gift from Jon and Amanda

The Age of Revolution: 1749-1848, Eric J. Hobsbawm, Clackamas County Library. 'This magisterial volume follows the death of ancient traditions, the triumph of new classes, and the emergence of new technologies, sciences, and ideologies, with vast intellectual daring and aphoristic elegance. Part of Eric Hobsbawm's epic four-volume history of the modern world, along with The Age of Capitalism, The Age of Empire, and The Age of Extremes.' Paperback. To-Read

Peace Shall Destroy Many, Rudy Wiebe, Weebcentral Library. 'In 1944, as war rages across Europe and Asia, famine, violence and fear are commonplace. But life appears tranquil in the isolated farming settlement of Wapiti in northern Saskatchewan, where the Mennonite community continues the agricultural lifestyle their ancestors have practised for centuries. Their Christian values of peace and love lead them to oppose war and military service, so they are hardly affected by the war – except for the fact that they are reaping the rewards of selling their increasingly valuable crops and livestock.Thom Wiens, a young farmer and earnest Christian, begins to ask questions. How can they claim to oppose the war when their livestock become meat to sustain soldiers? How can they enjoy this free country but rely on others to fight to preserve that freedom? Within the community, conflicts and broken relationships threaten the peace, as the Mennonite tradition of close community life manifests itself as racism toward their “half-breed” neighbours, and aspirations of holiness turn into condemnation of others. Perhaps the greatest hope for the future lies with children such as Hal Wiens, whose friendship with the Métis children and appreciation of the natural environment offer a positive vision of people living at peace with themselves and others.Wiebe’s groundbreaking first novel aroused great controversy among Mennonite communities when it was first published in 1962. Wiebe explains, “I guess it was a kind of bombshell because it was the first realistic novel ever written about Mennonites in western Canada. A lot of people had no clue how to read it. They got angry. I was talking from the inside and exposing things that shouldn't be exposed.” At the same time, other reviewers were unsure how to react to Wiebe’s explicitly religious themes, a view which Wiebe found absurd. “There are many, many people who feel that religious experience is the most vital thing that happens to them in thei' Paperback. To-Read

The Ghost Writer, Philip Roth, New Yorker Archive. Some think this is Roth's best novel, in part because of the editing. Published in full in the New Yorker in the June 25 and July 2, 1979 periodicals. eBook. To-Read

Strom Thurmond's America, Joseph Crespino, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Scottie.

Poetics (Dover Thrift), Aristotle, Weebcentral Library. 'Among the most influential books in Western civilization, the 'Poetics' is really a treatise on fine art. It offers seminal ideas on the nature of drama, tragedy, poetry, music and more, including such concepts as catharsis, the tragic flaw, unities of time and place and other rules of drama. This inexpensive edition enables readers to enjoy the critical insights of one humanity's greatest minds laying the foundations for thought about the arts.' Kindle. To-Read Recommended by Charles Van Doren in his Joy of Reading, p. 54.

The Daily Show: An Oral History, Chris Smith, Jon Stewart, Weebcentral Library. ''For almost seventeen years, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart brilliantly redefined the borders between television comedy, political satire, and opinionated news coverage. It launched the careers of some of today's most significant comedians, highlighted the hypocrisies of the powerful, and garnered 23 Emmys. Now the show's behind-the-scenes gags, controversies, and camaraderie are chronicled by the players themselves.'' Kindle. Partially-Read 2017-01-01. A gift from my Jon and Amanda, Christmas 2017.

James Madison: The American Presidents, Garry Wills, Weebcentral Library. 'A bestselling historian examines the life of a Founding Father. Renowned historian and social commentator Garry Wills takes a fresh look at the life of James Madison, from his rise to prominence in the colonies through his role in the creation of the Articles of Confederation and the first Constitutional Congress. Madison oversaw the first foreign war under the constitution, and was forced to adjust some expectations he had formed while drafting that document. Not temperamentally suited to be a wartime President, Madison nonetheless confronted issues such as public morale, internal security, relations with Congress, and the independence of the military. Wills traces Madison's later life during which, like many recent Presidents, he enjoyed greater popularity than while in office.' Hardcover. To-Read

Mathematics An Illustrated History Of Numbers, Tom Jackson, Multnomah County Library. 'Legend has it that the first magic square, where all lines and diagonals add up to the same figure, was revealed more than 2,000 years ago when a river turtle appeared to have ancient Chinese numerals inscribed on sections of its shell. Patterns are everywhere in nature, and counting, measuring, and calculating changes are as old as civilization itself, as are many of the theorems and laws of math. The Pythagorean Theorem was used to plot out fields for planting crops before the ancient Greek Pythagoras was even born, but the story begins long before that, with tally marks on rock and bone surviving from the Stone Age. Here is the essential guide to mathematics, an authoritative reference book and timeline that explores the work of history s greatest mathematicians. From the teasing genius of Pierre de Fermat, who said he knew the answers but rarely gave them up, to the fractal pattern discovered by Waclaw Sierpinski now used to plan the route a mailman takes, here are 100 landmark moments in this intensely rigorous discipline, seen through the eyes of the people who lived them. Glimpse the abstract landscape of infinite numbers and multi-dimensional shapes as you learn about the most famous math men of all. Pythagoras had a love of numbers so strong it led to a violent death. Then there is Fibonacci, whose guide for bookkeepers changed the way we add and Descartes, who took inspiration from a fly to convert numbers into shapes and back again, changing math forever. Over many centuries, great minds puzzled over the evidence and, step-by-step, edged ever closer to the truth. Behind every one of these breakthrough moments there s a story about a confounding puzzle that became a discovery and changed the way we see the world. Here are one hundred of the most significant and we call these Ponderables. In Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers, you ll get a peak into the Imponderables, too, the mysteries yet to be solved that will one day lead great thinkers forw' Hardcover. To-Read

Art: A Crash Course, Julian Freeman, Weebcentral Library. 'Art - A Crash Course is designed for the armchair aficionado with artistic longings, those of us who know what we like but can't put a name on it. It's a briskly written fact-packed history of Western art with all the tedious research done for you, techniques explained in foolproof terms, and a handy timeline. Read this and you will never again confuse your impressionists with your expressionists, your fresco with your mural, or your Millais with your Millet. And you can open your mouth with confidence, as Art a Crash Course contains a unique pronunciation guide.' Hardcover. Read 2016-01-30.

Under African Skies: Modern African Stories, Charles R. Larson, Weebcentral Library. 'Spanning a wide geographical range, this collection features many of the now prominent first generation of African writers and draws attention to a new generation of writers. Powerful, intriguing and essentially non-Western, these stories will be welcome by an audience truly ready for multicultural voices.' Paperback. To-Read

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon, LA Public Library. 'This brilliant epic novel set in New York and Prague introduces us to two misfit young men who make it big by creating comic-book superheroes. Joe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America -- the comic book. Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells an unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.' Kindle. To-Read

Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction, Eric Foner, Weebcentral Library. 'From one of our most distinguished historians comes a groundbreaking new examination of the myths and realities of the period after the Civil War.Drawing on a wide range of long-neglected documents, Eric Foner places a new emphasis on black experiences and roles during the era. We see African Americans as active agents in overthrowing slavery, in shaping Reconstruction, and creating a legacy long obscured and misunderstood. He compellingly refutes long-standing misconceptions of Reconstruction, and shows how the failures of the time sowed the seeds of the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s. Richly illustrated and movingly written, this is an illuminating and essential addition to our understanding of this momentous era.' Kindle. To-Read

The Origins Of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama, Weebcentral Library. 'Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.In The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama, author of the bestselling The End of History and the Last Man, provides a sweeping account of how today’s basic political institutions developed. The first of a major two-volume work begins with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning of a rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe up until the eve of the French Revolution.Drawing on a vast body of knowledge—history, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and economics—Fukuyama has produced a brilliant, provocative work that offers fresh insights on the origins of democratic societies and raises essential questions about the nature of politics.' Kindle. To-Read

Gratitude, Sacks Oliver, Weebcentral Library. ''In July 2013, Oliver Sacks turned eighty and wrote [a] ... piece in The New York Times about the prospect of old age and the freedom he envisioned for himself in binding together the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime. Eighteen months later, he was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer--which he announced publicly in another piece in The New York Times. Gratitude is Sacks's meditation on why life [continued] to enthrall him even as he [faced] the all-too-close presence of his own death, and how to live out the months that [remained] in the richest and deepest way possible'--' Hardcover. To-Read

Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality (Vintage), Pauline W. Chen, Weebcentral Library. 'A brilliant transplant surgeon brings compassion and narrative drama to the fearful reality that every doctor must face: the inevitability of mortality.When Pauline Chen began medical school, she dreamed of saving lives. What she could not predict was how much death would be a part of her work. Almost immediately, she found herself wrestling with medicine’s most profound paradox–that a profession premised on caring for the ill also systematically depersonalizes dying. Final Exam follows Chen over the course of her education and practice as she struggles to reconcile the lessons of her training with her innate sense of empathy and humanity. A superb addition to the best medical literature of our time.' Paperback. To-Read

Home Land: A Novel, Sam Lipsyte, . ''Genius. As eloquent and delirious a rant I've heard since Henry Miller was doing the ranting. Sam Lipsyte has the best male gaze in town and when he turns that gaze inwards I start to understand how we got to be where we are today, as a country and as a people.'---Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook What if somebody finally wrote to his high school alumni bulletin and told...the truth! Here is an update from hell, and the most brilliant work to date, by the novelist whom Jeffrey Eugenides calls 'original, devious, and very funny' and of whose first novel Chuck Palahniuk wrote, 'I laughed out loud---and I never laugh out loud.' The Eastern Valley High School Alumni newsletter, Catamount Notes, is bursting with tales of success: former students include a bankable politician and a famous baseball star, not to mention a major-label recording artist. Then there is the appalling, yet utterly lovable, Lewis Miner, class of '89---a.k.a Teabag---who did not pan out. This is his confession in all its bitter, lovelorn glory. 'Lipsyte's vision of our collective existence is so accurately skewed, there is no escaping the delirious---and beautifully disturbing---shock of recognition. Writing this deep is rare enough---writing this deep and this hysterical pretty much didn't exist until Lipsyte began pouring it onto the page.'--Jerry Stahl, author of 'I, Fatty''Lipsyte is playful and lewd, bleak and farcical, walking a fine line between near-glib humour and a genuine existential fear one could even call Beckettian. . . . Sam Lipsyte can really write.'--Aida Edamariam, 'The Guardian''Sam Lipsyte has got balls the size of watermelons. He's ripped the piss out of his Yank countrymen so much that he gets published here in the UK first. He's one wicked sod. You'll love it.'--'Lads' Sam Lipsyte was born in 1968. He is the author of the story collection' Venus Drive' (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and the nov' Paperback. To-Read

Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes, Multnomah County Library. 'Young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.' Kindle. To-Read

The Guns of August, Barbara W. Tuchman, Weebcentral Library. 'A definitive Pulitzer Prize-winning recreation of the powderkeg that was Europe during the crucial first thirty days of World War I traces the actions of statesmen and patriots alike in Berlin, London, St. Petersburg, and Paris. Reprint.' Paperback. To-Read

The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition), John Steinbeck, . 'The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. First published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that: The Battle Hymn of the Republic be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the book-which takes its title from the first verse: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's fictional chronicle of the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930's is perhaps the most American of American Classics.' Paperback. To-Read

On the Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript, Robert K. Merton, Weebcentral Library. Paperback. To-Read

Common Sense (Penguin Great Ideas), Thomas Paine, Weebcentral Library. ''When Common Sense was published in January 1776, it sold, by some estimates, a stunning 150,000 copies in the colonies. What exactly made this pamphlet so appealing? This is a question not only about the state of mind of Paine's audience, but also about the role of public opinion and debate, the function of the press, and the shape of political culture in the colonies.' 'The Broadview edition of Paine's famous pamphlet attempts to reconstruct the context in which it appeared and to recapture the energy and passion of the dispute over the political future of the British colonies in North America. Included along with the text of Common Sense are some of the contemporary arguments for and against the Revolution by John Dickinson, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson; materials from the debate that followed the pamphlet's publication showing the difficulty of the choices facing the colonists; the Declaration of Independence; and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.'--BOOK JACKET.' Hardcover. To-Read

The education of a true believer, Kopelev Lev, Amazon Wish List. Autobiography of the person upon whom Solzhenitsyn modelled the Rubin character, the brilliant linguist and ironically committed Communist somewhat reminiscent of Koestler's discarded intellectuals in Darkness at Noon , in his novel In the First Circle. Hardcover. To-Read

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman: Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (Penguin Classics), Laurence Sterne, Weebcentral Library. 'New ed. / edited by Melvyn and Joan New / with a critical introduction by Melvyn New.' Paperback. To-Read

Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee, Weebcentral Library. 'Set in an isolated outpost on the edge of a great Empire, WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS is a startling allegory of the war between oppressor and oppressed. The Magistrate, the novel's fascinating narrator, has been a loyal servant of the Empire, running the affairs of the frontier settlement, dabbling in antiquarianism, and ignoring constant reports of a threat from the 'barbarians' who inhabit the uncharted deserts beyond the village. But when military personnel arrive with captured barbarians, he becomes witness to a cruel and unjust defense of the Empire. Outraged and, with military command controlling his village, powerless to prevent the persecution of the barbarians, he finds himself involved in an affair with one of the victims, a girl crippled, blinded, and orphaned by the torturers. Their relationship, intimate but devoid of true understanding, finally pushes him to a quixotic act of rebellion that brands him an enemy of the state. Rendered in an austere but richly suggestive prose, Coetzee's novel addresses universal political and philosophical issues of power and justice.' Paperback. To-Read

A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962 (New York Review Books Classics), Alistair Horne, Weebcentral Library. 'The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture.Nearly a half century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria’s independence, and yet—as Alistair Horne argues in his new preface to his now-classic work of history—its repercussions continue to be felt not only in Algeria and France, but throughout the world. Indeed from today’s vantage point the Algerian War looks like a full-dress rehearsal for the sort of amorphous struggle that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s and that now ravages the Middle East, from Beirut to Baghdad—struggles in which questions of religion, nationalism, imperialism, and terrorism take on a new and increasingly lethal intensity.A Savage War of Peace is the definitive history of the Algerian War, a book that brings that terrible and complicated struggle to life with intelligence, assurance, and unflagging momentum. It is essential reading for our own violent times as well as a lasting monument to the historian’s art.' Paperback. To-Read

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Richard Hofstadter, Weebcentral Library. 'A book which throws light on many features of the American character. Its concern is not merely to portray the scorners of intellect in American life, but to say something about what the intellectual is, and can be, as a force in a democratic society.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my brother-in-law, Scottie.

The Signal And The Noise, Nate Silver, Weebcentral Library. 'Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair's breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my wife, Cindy.

Nick the Saint, Anthony Szpak, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A birthday gift from my Benn and Jenn.

Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth, Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou, Clackamas County Library. 'An innovative, dramatic graphic novel about the treacherous pursuit of the foundations of mathematics. This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his agonized search for absolute truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers like Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, and Kurt Godel, and finds a passionate student in the great Ludwig Wittgenstein. But his most ambitious goal--to establish unshakable logical foundations of mathematics--continues to loom before him. Through love and hate, peace and war, Russell persists in the dogged mission that threatens to claim both his career and his personal happiness, finally driving him to the brink of insanity. This story is at the same time a historical novel and an accessible explication of some of the biggest ideas of mathematics and modern philosophy. With rich characterizations and expressive, atmospheric artwork, the book spins the pursuit of these ideas into a highly satisfying tale. Probing and ingeniously layered, the book throws light on Russell's inner struggles while setting them in the context of the timeless questions he spent his life trying to answer. At its heart, 'Logicomix 'is a story about the conflict between an ideal rationality and the unchanging, flawed fabric of reality.Apostolos Doxiadis studied mathematics at Columbia University. His international bestseller 'Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture' spearheaded the impressive entrance of mathematics into the world of storytelling. Apart from his work in fiction, Apostolos has also worked in film and theater and is an internationally recognized expert on the relationship of mathematics to narrative. Christos H. Papadimitriou is C . Lester Hogan professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. He was won numerous international awards for his pioneering work in computational complexity and algorithmic game theory. Christos is the author of the novel 'Turing: A Novel about Compu' Paperback. To-Read Recommended by Jean-Moo

Burning the days, James Salter, Clackamas County Library. Autobiography of James Salter. Recommended by Rich Cohen, in the Jewish Review of Books. Paperback. To-Read

Slavery by Another Name, Douglas A. Blackmon, LA Public Library. In this groundbreaking historical exposé, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Kindle. To-Read

Life, animated, Ron Suskind, Weebcentral Library. ''Imagine being trapped inside a Disney movie and having to learn about life mostly from animated characters dancing across a screen of color. A fantasy? A nightmare? This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn't speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood. The family was forced to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue and song; until they all emerge, together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive'--' Kindle. To-Read

Small Boat of Great Sorrows, Dan Fesperman, Dan Esperman, . 'Vlado Petric, a former homicide detective in Sarajevo, is now living in exile, and making a meagre living working at a Berlin construction site, when an American investigator for the International War Crimes Tribunal recruits him to return home on a mission. The assignment sounds simple enough. He is to help capture an aging Nazi collaborator who has become a war profiteer. But nothing is simple in the Balkans: Petric is also being used as bait to lure his quarry into the open, and when the operation goes sour he is drawn across Europe into a dangerous labyrinth of secret identities, stolen gold, and horrifying discoveries about his own family's past. Intelligent and suspenseful,The Small Boat of Great Sorrowsbrings together chilling crimes, the lies people live and the cold facts of international politics into a masterful, electrifying thriller.' Paperback. To-Read

Suspended in Language, Jim Ottaviani, Jay Holser, Steve Leialoha, Linda Medley, Jeff Parker, Clackamas County Library. 'Einstein looked up to him, the Nazis tried to abduct him, his institute in Copenhagen hosted just about every Nobel prize winner in physics you can name (and then some), and Winston Churchill considered him a dangerous, dangerous man. His friends and enemies agreed: Niels Bohr was more than the father of quantum mechanics - he was one of the most important figures of the 20th century. The Tony Award-winning Broadway play 'Copenhagen' barely scratched the surface... Suspended in Language tells the complete story of Niels Bohr's amazing life, discoveries, and his pervasive influence on science, philosophy, and politics. Told in an engaging and accessible mixture of text and comics, it includes a full color supplement on how to teleport just like the pros do-and why you might not want to!' Paperback. To-Read

The Story of Art (Gombrich, Ernst Hans Josef//Story of Art), E.H. Gombrich, Clackamas County Library. 'An illustrated introduction to art appreciation with a survey of the major art periods and styles and descriptions of the work and world of the masters' Hardcover. To-Read

Between Friends, Amos Oz, Clackamas County Library. Paperback. To-Read

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Oliver Sacks, Weebcentral Library. 'Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does--humans are a musical species. Oliver Sacks's compassionate, compelling tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own brains, and of the human experience. Here, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people. Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and Oliver Sacks tells us why.--From publisher description.' Hardcover. To-Read

Capital In The Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty, Weebcentral Library. This essay is in some ways representative of the best of Andrew Sullivan, a Oxford-educated conservative Brit who has become a US citizen. He explicates what I consider his admirable moderation in the face of virulent U.S. partisan politics. Moderation provides room for working political solutions. Kindle. To-Read

What's the Matter with White People?, Joan Walsh, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read

Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, Harvey J. Kaye, Weebcentral Library. 'Thomas Paine was one of the most remarkable political writers of the modern world and the greatest radical of a radical age. Through writings like Common Sense—and words such as “The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth,“ “We have it in our power to begin the world over again,” and “These are the times that try men’s souls”—he not only turned America’s colonial rebellion into a revolutionary war but, as Harvey J. Kaye demonstrates, articulated an American identity charged with exceptional purpose and promise.' Kindle. To-Read A gift from my wife, Cindy.

The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewry, Ilya Ehrenburg, Vasily Grossman, Irving Horowitz, David Patterson, Weebcentral Library. Paperback. To-Read

Galileo's Commandment, Edmund Blair Bolles, Multnomah County Library. 'Bolles has scoured the literature of science to build a treasury that is accessible and riveting, and therefore appealing to readers unfamiliar with science, yet erudite enough for the scientifically initiated to enjoy.' Paperback. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

The Russländer, Birdsell Sandra, Weebcentral Library. 'Katherine (Katya) Vogt is now an old woman living in Winnipeg, but the story of how she and her family came to Canada begins in Russia in 1910, on a wealthy Mennonite estate. Here they lived in a world bounded by the prosperity of their landlords and by the poverty and disgruntlement of the Russian workers who toil on the estate. But in the wake of the First World War, the tensions engulfing the country begin to intrude on the community, leading to an unspeakable act of violence. In the aftermath of that violence, and in the difficult years that follow, Katya tries to come to terms with the terrible events that befell her and her family. In lucid, spellbinding prose, Birdsell vividly evokes time and place, and the unease that existed in a county on the brink of revolutionary change.The Russländeris a powerful and moving story of ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times.' Hardcover. To-Read

How To Teach Relativity To Your Dog, Chad Orzel, Multnomah County Library. Kindle. To-Read

The Origins Of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, Multnomah County Library. 'Generally regarded as the definitive work on totalitarianism, this book is an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political movements. Arendt was one of the first to recognize that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were two sides of the same coin rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. “With the Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt emerges as the most original and profound-therefore the most valuable-political theoretician of our times” (New Leader). Index.' Kindle. To-Read

The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee, LA Public Library. An oncologist describes the history and the progress made in fighting cancer. Kindle. To-Read

The Circle, Dave Eggers, Weebcentral Library. ''The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge'--' Hardcover. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

Introductory Nuclear Physics, Kenneth S. Krane, . 'This comprehensive text provides an introduction to basic nuclear physics, including nuclear decays and reactions and nuclear structure, while covering the essential areas of basic research and practical applications. Its emphasis on phenomonology and the results of real experiments distinguish this from all other texts available. Discussions of theory are reinforced with examples which illustrate and apply the theoretical formulism, thus aiding students in their reading and analysis of current literature. The text is designed to provide a core of material for students with minimal background in mathematics or quantum theory and offers more sophisticated material in separate sections.' Hardcover. To-Read

Prairie Fire, Armstrong, Dan, Weebcentral Library. Paperback. To-Read

Ulysses, James Joyce, Weebcentral Library. 'James Joyce adapted the structure of one of history's oldest and most familiar stories to his tale of Leopold Bloom's one-day odyssey through Dublin to produce a landmark in 20th-century literature. Evoking in rich, sensory details the streets, pubs, brothels, and shops of Dublin, focusing on seemingly insignificant detail, 'Ulysses' is a triumphant celebration of an ordinary man. The title alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer's Odyssey, and establishes a series of parallels between characters and events in Homer's poem and Joyce's novel. ------------ This volume follows the complete unabridged text as corrected in 1961. Contains the original foreword by the author and the historic court ruling to remove the federal ban. It also contains page references to the first American edition of 1934.' Paperback. To-Read

Sweeter Than All The World, Rudy Wiebe, Weebcentral Library. 'Rudy Wiebe’s latest novel is at once an enthralling saga of the Mennonite people and one man’s emotional voyage into his heritage and his own self-discovery. Ambitious in its historical sweep, tender and humane, Sweeter Than All the World takes us on an extraordinary odyssey never before fully related in a contemporary novel.The novel tells the story of the Mennonite people from the early days of persecution in sixteenth-century Netherlands, and follows their emigration to Danzig, London, Russia, and the Americas, through the horrors of World War II, to settlement in Paraguay and Canada. It is told episodically in a double-stranded narrative. The first strand consists of different voices of historical figures. The other narrative voice is that of Adam Wiebe, born in Saskatchewan in 1935, whom we encounter at telling stages of his life: as a small boy playing in the bush, as a student hunting caribou a week before his wedding, and as a middle-aged man carefully negotiating a temporary separation from his wife. As Adam faces the collapse of his marriage and the disappearance of his daughter, he becomes obsessed with understanding his ancestral past. Wiebe meshes the history of a people with the story of a modern family, laying bare the complexities of desire and family love, religious faith and human frailty.The past comes brilliantly alive, beginning with the horrors of the Reformation, when Weynken Claes Wybe is burned at the stake for heretical views on Communion. We are caught up in the great events of each century, as we follow in the footsteps of Adam’s forebears: the genius engineer who invented the cable-car system; the artist Enoch Seeman, who found acclamation at the royal court in London after having been forbidden to paint by the Elders; Anna, who endures the great wagon trek across the Volga in 1860, leaving behind her hopes of marriage so that her brothers will escape conscription in the Prussian army; and Elizabeth Katerina, caught in ' Paperback. To-Read

Lincoln In The Bardo, George Saunders, Weebcentral Library. 'February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?' Hardcover. To-Read A gift from the Wiebe family, Christmas 2017

Proof of Heaven, Eben Alexander, Weebcentral Library. ''A SCIENTIST'S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are controversial. Thousands of people have had them, but many in the scientific community have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those people. A highly trained neurosurgeon who had operated on thousands of brains in the course of his career, Alexander knew that what people of faith call the 'soul' is really a product of brain chemistry. NDEs, he would have been the first to explain, might feel real to the people having them, but in truth they are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress. Then came the day when Dr. Alexander's own brain was attacked by an extremely rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion--and in essence makes us human-- shut down completely. For seven days Alexander lay in a hospital bed in a deep coma. Then, as his doctors weighed the possibility of stopping treatment, Alexander's eyes popped open. He had come back. Alexander's recovery is by all accounts a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself. This story sounds like the wild and wonderful imaginings of a skilled fantasy writer. But it is not fantasy. Before Alexander underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. That difficulty with belief created an empty space that no professional triumph could erase. Today he is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition. This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scie' Paperback. To-Read Recommended by my wife Cindy.

Who Is Fourier?: A Mathematical Adventure, Transnational College of Lex Tokyo, Weebcentral Library. Paperback. To-Read A gift from Jean-Mi, Christmas 2013.

Lukács and Brecht, David Pike, Weebcentral Library. Found in the bibliography of Applebaum's book Iron Curtain. David is an old friend from my youth, so I am curious to read deeper than I ordinarily would on this subject. Hardcover. To-Read

Uncommon Type, Tom Hanks, Weebcentral Library. I read a couple of these short stories, and they were flat and a bit amateurish. Tom Hanks is a brilliant performer, but I think this book doesn't get published, or get 4/5 stars on Amazon, without his deserved fame as an actor. Hardcover. Partially-Read 2018-01-06. A gift from Cindy, Christmas 2016

The Nature Of Natural Philosophy In The Late Middle Ages, Edward Grant, Multnomah County Library. ProQuest eBook. To-Read

Kindred, Octavia Butler, LA Public Library. Kindle. To-Read

The drunken botanist, Amy Stewart, Weebcentral Library. Kindle. To-Read A gift from Melinda Miles, Christmas 2013.

What Is The What, Dave Eggers, Weebcentral Library. ''What is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refuge of the Sudanese civil war. Fleeing from his village in the mid-1980s, Deng becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys - children pursued by militias, government soldiers, lions and hyenas and myriad diseases, in their search for sanctuary, first in Ethiopia and then Kenya. Eventually Deng is resettled in the United States with almost 4,000 other young Sudanese men, and a very different struggle begins.'--BOOK JACKET.' Paperback. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

Modern Physics, Kenneth S. Krane, . 'This is a much awaited revision of a modern classic that covers all the major topics in modern physics, including relativity, quantum physics, and their applications. Krane provides a balanced presentation of both the historical development of all major modern physics concepts and the experimental evidence supporting the theory.' Hardcover. To-Read

Physics, Volume 2, David Halliday, Robert Resnick, Kenneth S. Krane, . Hardcover. To-Read

On politics, Ryan Alan, . Kindle. To-Read

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Dover Value Editions), Max Weber, Talcott Parsons, R.H. Tawney, UVa. 'This brilliant study opposes the Marxist concept of dialectical materialism and its view that change takes place through the conflict of opposites. Instead, Weber relates the rise of a capitalist economy to the Puritan determination to work out anxiety over salvation or damnation by performing good deeds — an effort that ultimately encouraged capitalism.' eBook. To-Read

The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason, Charles Freeman, Multnomah County Library. 'A radical and powerful reappraisal of the impact of Constantine’s adoption of Christianity on the later Roman world, and on the subsequent development both of Christianity and of Western civilization.When the Emperor Contstantine converted to Christianity in 368 AD, he changed the course of European history in ways that continue to have repercussions to the present day. Adopting those aspects of the religion that suited his purposes, he turned Rome on a course from the relatively open, tolerant and pluralistic civilization of the Hellenistic world, towards a culture that was based on the rule of fixed authority, whether that of the Bible, or the writings of Ptolemy in astronomy and of Galen and Hippocrates in medicine. Only a thousand years later, with the advent of the Renaissance and the emergence of modern science, did Europe begin to free itself from the effects of Constantine's decision, yet the effects of his establishment of Christianity as a state religion remain with us, in many respects, today. Brilliantly wide-ranging and ambitious, this is a major work of history.' Kindle. To-Read

You Shall Know Our Velocity, Dave Eggers, Weebcentral Library. 'In his first novel, Dave Eggers has written a moving and hilarious tale of two friends who fly around the world trying to give away a lot of money and free themselves from a profound loss. It reminds us once again what an important, necessary talent Dave Eggers is.' Paperback. To-Read A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.

The politics of culture in Soviet-occupied Germany, 1945-1949, David Pike, Weebcentral Library. Found in the bibliography of Applebaum's book Iron Curtain. David is an old friend from my youth, so I am curious to read deeper than I ordinarily would on this subject. Hardcover. To-Read

The Heart Of A Woman, Dr Maya Angelou, Weebcentral Library. 'This engaging book chronicles the changes in Maya Angelou's life as she enters the hub of activity that is New York.  There, at the Harlem Writers Guild, sherededicates herself to writing, and finds love at an unexpected moment. Reflecting on her many roles--from northern coordinator of Martin Luther King's history-making quest to mother of a rebellious teenage son--Angelou eloquently speaks to an awareness of the heart within us all.' Paperback. Re-Read

Technics And Civilization, Lewis Mumford, Langdon Winner, Website. I read only the oft-quoted essay: 'The monastery and the clock' from Mumford's discussion of the history of technology. Kindle. Partially-Read 2014-09-14.

Constantine's Sword, James Carroll, LA Public Library. 'The novelist and cultural critic James Carroll maps the two-thousand-year course of the Church’s battle against Judaism and faces the crisis of faith it has sparked in his own life as a Catholic.' Paperback. Partially-Read 2008-11-04.

Ordinary Geniuses, Gino Segre, Clackamas County Library. ''A biography of two maverick scientists whose intellectual wanderlust kick-started modern genomics and cosmology. Max Delbruck and George Gamow, the so-called ordinary geniuses of Segre's third book, were not as famous or as decorated as some of their colleagues in midtwentieth-century physics, yet these two friends had a profound influence on how we now see the world, both on its largest scale (the universe) and its smallest (genetic code). Their maverick approach to research resulted in truly pioneering science. Wherever these men ventured, they were catalysts for great discoveries. Here Segre honors them in his typically inviting and elegant style and shows readers how they were far from 'ordinary'. While portraying their personal lives Segre, a scientist himself, gives readers an inside look at how science is done--collaboration, competition, the influence of politics, the role of intuition and luck, and the sense of wonder and curiosity that fuels these extraordinary minds. Ordinary Geniuses willappeal to the readers of Simon Singh, Amir Aczel, and other writers exploring the history of scientific ideas and the people behind them'--' Hardcover. To-Read

Phage And The Origins Of Molecular Biology, The Centennial Edition, Cairns, Amazon Wish List. 'This hugely influential book, published in 1966 as a 60th birthday tribute to Max Delbruck, is now republished as The Centennial Edition. In addition to the landmark collection of 35 essays by pioneers of molecular biology, this edition contains an additional essay by Sydney Brenner, one of the few influential molecular biologists of the time not to contribute to the original book. The essay contains material prepared for the original edition, but not submitted at the time, and a newly written view of the phage group seen from the perspective of someone close to, but not an intimate member of, that famous school. This new edition also retains material added to the expanded 1992 edition, including Gunther Stent's obituary of Max Delbruck, two commentaries on issues raised in the book reprinted from Scientific American and Science, and the preface in which John Cairns reflects on the book's creation and molecular biology's ?age of innocence.? On first publication, the book was hailed as ?[introducing] into the literature of science, for the first time, a self-conscious historical element in which the participants in scientific discovery engage in writing their own chronicle. As such, it is an important document in the history of biology...? (Journal of History of Biology). And in another review it was described as ?required reading for every student of experimental biology... [who] will sense the smell and rattle of the laboratory? (Bioscience). The book was a formative influence on many of today's leading scientists.' Hardcover. To-Read